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Tomorrow shall be my dancing dayfor mixed choir (SATB) a cappella
Text: English (Traditional)
Duration: 4'00''
Difficulty: 3/5
Use: Christmas

Composer's note
Shane MacGowan’s laid-back crooning of the Pogues’ Irish folk ballad Fairytale of New York provided the inspiration for the melody to Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, devised as a choral Christmas waltz. Homage should also be paid to John Gardner’s setting, particularly in his use of “dance sing” to evoke “dancing”.

The work is structured in the manner of a hymn that becomes increasingly complex via different vocal textures. In the opening verse and chorus, the tune is introduced by the Bass section, later augmented in unison by the Tenors, accompanied by a Soprano/Alto duet. The second verse sees the same duet take over in harmony with the Tenors accompanying them with a counter-melody, which leads to a fully realised SATB chorus. The third verse portrays Mary singing the baby Jesus to sleep amid a perpetual angelic ATB lullaby. The SATB chorus returns, only now fully evolved into a joyful cacophony of florid decorations anchored by the Basses’ fourth verse. The final chorus sees the Tenors and Sopranos swap roles: the Tenor section sings the melody while their previously established choral harmonies are incorporated into a Soprano descant. The work concludes with the Tenors and Basses sharing the melody before the Soprano descant ascends to the heavens to represent Jesus’ ultimate Ascension.

Tomorrow shall be my dancing day;
I would my true love did so chance
To see the legend of my play,
To call my true love to my dance;

Sing, oh! my love, sing, oh! my love,
This have I done for my true love.

Then was I born of a virgin pure,
Of her I took fleshly substance
Thus was I knit to man’s nature
To call my true love to my dance.

Sing, oh! my love...

In a manger laid, and wrapped I was
So very poor, this was my chance
Between an ox and a silly poor ass
To call my true love to my dance.

Sing, oh! my love...

Then afterwards baptized I was.
The Holy Ghost on me did glance,
My Father’s voice heard from above,
To call my true love to my dance.

Sing, oh! my love...

Gareth Treseder
Welsh composer Gareth Treseder has written numerous sacred compositions alongside his work as a London-based tenor for the Monteverdi Choir, BBC Singers, RSVP Voices, and St Margaret’s Church Westminster Abbey. Recent premieres include A Safe Stronghold, a co-commission alongside Lars Schwarze for London’s Temple Church Choir to commemorate the outbreak of World War One, and a liturgical premiere of Never weather-beaten sail performed by the choir of St Paul’s Church K Street in Washington DC. In May 2015, a set of songs based on texts by Joseph Addison for voice and piano entitled Hope: An Addison Cycle was premiered by Eleanor Minney and Michael Waldron. He has also written two arias for a new Little Rooms Productions opera: Arcana Part 2, which was premiered in Bristol Bierkeller Theatre in the same month.

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